Something was wrong; very wrong. My arms and legs refused to move; I could barely turn my head. I was laying on an ice-cold object, even colder than what my fragile body was used to. My skin began to burn against it.
The cloth over my face must have been a blindfold, yet I was too panicked to realize it. Something was very wrong.
A whisper reached my ears then and I strained to hear what it said. Growing louder and louder until my ears rang, I still couldn't understand the foreign words. I began to struggle against my bonds.
The sky flashed brightly against the blindfold and I stopped squirming. Was I inside? No. The light was flickering, moving. A word suddenly stuck in the back of my mind, as if from a hundred lives ago. A primal instinct, strong and clear...fire.
I tried to call for help but my voice was frayed, cracked. Only a whimper escaped.
Strong hands were placed upon my legs and arms. Funny, considering I was already completely helpless.
The blindfold was ripped from my face and a silent scream formed on my lips. A few hundred people--the whole town, it seemed-- had formed a giant circle centered around where I lay tied. Each wore a plain white mask.
Twenty feet away, a giant cross stood flaming brightly against the night sky. "Please," I whispered, "Please." It seemed as though no other words would come.
Two men, dressed in the clothes of church officials, but with grotesque masks upon their faces, began to chant again. Soon everyone in attendance had picked up the ominous words.
The chant became a wail, dropping and rising in pitch until I was chilled to my very core. They began to dance, leaping and flailing in a mad, but nonetheless practiced way. How many times had they performed this macabre ritual? The circle was moving, pulsating and fluctuating like a living thing. One intent on devouring my very essence.
My parents, standing solemnly at my feet, too began to chant. The words, though still foreign to me, began to take on a chilling meaning. "Take this one! Drain her blood! Free us of our sins! O Mighty one, banish this evil spirit and so send our corruption. Take this one! Drain her blood!..." I began to fight, but so little strength was left within me.
I felt it then, that change within my body. The witching hour was upon us. The dancers and their ominous singing drifted quickly into the background as the pain began. My fingers turned to vicious claws and I vaguely heard a shout from among the crowd.
A metallic glint sparkled above my head as huge, black, velvety wings sprouted from my shoulder blades.
One steel tip, plunged deep above the heart and it was over. The gods were appeased. I was a monster.